By Isaac Rosso Klakovich Skyler Boyer
Despite the assurance of a Clinton victory from the media, experts on polling, and even the President himself, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. As important as the president is his cabinet. A president’s cabinet can make or break a presidency. Here is a list of appointees and potential picks to three of the most important positions in Trump’s Cabinet.
Jeff Sessions is confirmed as the next Attorney General of the United States. A former senator from Alabama, the National Journal once voted Sessions the fifth most conservative member in Congress. He and Trump both share harsh immigration policy, opposing both a pathway to citizenship, and immigration reform. He has also supported enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding. In addition, Sessions was one of nine senators to vote against a bill that would ban cruel treatment of people within the physical control of the US.
Secretary of State
After a long and contested nomination process, Donald Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson as his choice for secretary of state.
The former head of Exxonmobil, Rex Tillerson is an interesting choice. About Tillerson Trump said, “He is much more than a business executive. He is a world class player. He is in charge of, I guess, the largest company in the world,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview airing Sunday. “And to me, a great advantage is that he knows many of the players. And he knows them well.” Trumps pick might be demonstrative of the future of the US with Russia. “He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals — for the company, not for himself, for the company,” Some however have criticized Tillerson’s coziness with the Russians. Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted “Being a “friend of Vladimir” is not an attribute I am hoping for from a Secretary Of State”
Secretary of Defense
A retired Marine Corps general, James Mattis is Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense. Mattis began his military career at the young age of 19, serving in his campus’s ROTC. He has served in three wars thus far, the Gulf War, the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Unlike the more hawkish positions of Trump, Mattis is a bit more withdrawn, opposing both regime change and “enhanced interrogation”, such as Waterboarding. However some have criticized Mattis as being too eager to engage in a conflict with Iran, calling Iran an ally of ISIS. Working closely with Mattis will be Mike Pompeo, Trump’s choice for Director of the CIA, and John Kelly, head of Homeland Security.
Secretary of Treasury
Former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin has been selected as Trump’s Treasury Secretary. After serving as the National Finance Chairman to Trump’s campaign and helping with the transition he is starting to be seen as a lock for the position. Also helping his chances is the legacy of Goldman Sachs executives in the White House under Clinton and Bush. Like Trump he is a proponent of low taxes and deregulation and seems to be a good match for Trump’s economic policy.
Health and Human Services and E.P.A. Administrator
As he made clear throughout his campaign Trump will not advocate for the E.P.A. during his presidency, his appointment of Scott Pruitt for E.P.A. Administrator demonstrates a delivery on these campaign promises. Not only is Pruitt a skeptic of climate change, but the attorney general of Oklahoma has ties to the fossil fuel industry. Like many of Trump’s appointments Pruitt will most likely look to decrease government spending. That being said Trump has spoken of completely dismantling the organization so Pruitt might not have any cuts to make. In addition to Pruitt being nominated as EPA secretary, Tom Price, a critic of Obama Care has been nominated as secretary of Health and Human Services. As Secretary piece would be directly in charge of a department with an annual budget of a trillion dollars.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Despite declining to be Secretary of Education former neurosurgeon Ben Carson will still be in Trump’s cabinet, but as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In his autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” Carson argued that people didn’t escape poverty from government programs, but personal achievement. Considering this sentiment it is fair to assume that under Carson the country will see a large reduction in government spending in the inner cities. However, with no experience in the field it is likely that Carson will need to learn from those around him.
Secretary of Education
Donald Trump is a controversial man, and his choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is no different. To some, DeVos is a champion of freedom, citing her strong support for voucher programs, and her belief in school choice. However some have criticized her her positions on common core, as well as her 9 million dollar donation to the Trump campaign. Regardless of one’s position, she is certainly an outsider, having roots in the private sector.
Secretary of Energy
A classic of the GOP establishment, former governor of Texas, Rick Perry, is Trump’s choice for Energy Secretary. Although he once campaigned on abolishing the department of energy, Perry is expected to affirm Trump’s policy on Energy. A fervent supporter of the oil industry, and a climate change doubter, it is likely that Perry will further Trump’s pro-drilling agenda.
Other notable nominations include: chief executive of CKE restaurants, Andrew F. Puzder as Labor Secretary; former Labor Secretary under the second Bush administration, Elaine Chao, to Transportation Secretary; and co-founder of World Wrestling Enterprises Linda McMahon to head to a small business administration. Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley is Trump’s pick for UN Ambassador,
Like most of everything Trump does, his choices are unconventional. It’ll be very interesting to see how Trump interacts with his cabinet members, in his undying campaign, to make america great again.